A 2014 investigation into David Corn, the Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones magazine, has been re-opened in light of new emails that allege Corn inappropriately touched female co-workers and made jokes about rape and “women’s sexuality and anatomy.”
The emails, written by two Mother Jones female staffers who chose not to reveal their identities, were reported by Politico.
The Mother Jones staffers allege that Corn made “rape jokes” and “regularly gave unwelcome shoulder rubs and engaged in uninvited touching of their legs, arms, backs, and waists.”
One email alleges that Corn, who is also an MSNBC analyst, “made inappropriate comments about women’s sexuality and anatomy.”
Another email from a former female staffer, written in 2014, alleged Corn “came up behind me and put his hands and arms around my body in a way that felt sexual and domineering.”
Corn responded in a statement to Politico.
“I am an exuberant person and have been known to pat male and female colleagues on the shoulder or slap them on the back, but always in a collegial or celebratory way,” he said. “I have never touched any work colleague in a sexual manner. Once concerns were raised about this type of contact, I have been mindful to avoid it to prevent any misperception. If anyone ever perceived any of this as ‘sexual’ or ‘domineering,’ I am sorry—that was never my intent.”
“Sexual violence is not funny, and I have never joked about it, or about women’s sexuality and anatomy,” Corn added.
Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein and editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery said of the emails on Thursday, “Now that they’ve come to us, we are going to take them seriously and investigate.”
Corn, 58, won a Polk Award in 2013 for breaking the Mitt Romney “47 percent video,” which some observers say was a key factor to Romney’s loss to former President Obama in 2012.
He is currently working on a book with Yahoo News Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff exploring whether President Trump or campaign associates colluded with Russia during last year’s presidential election.
The Corn investigation comes as sexual harassment claims against major media and Hollywood figures continue to mount.
Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, former NBC/MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin and actors Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman have all been accused of sexual harassment and/or sexual abuse in recent weeks and months.